What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:11 pm

This is a biased site, but I like a lot of the things on the list.

http://www.heritage.org/research/report ... ment-waste

Here are my favorites (my thoughts in quotes):

(3) Washington spends $25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties. (Perhaps sell of these properties?)
(7) Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job. (Self-explanatory)
(9) Federal agencies are delinquent on nearly 20 percent of employee travel charge cards, costing taxpayers hundres of millions of dollars annually. (If I am delinquent in reporting my transactions to my boss more than three times, I'm fired).
(10) The SEC spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, DC headquarters ($3.9 million for rearranging???)
(12) Over half of all farm subsidies go to commercial farmers, which report average household incomes of $200,000 (hey... crony capitalism)
(14) A GAO audit found that 95 Pentagon weapons systems suffered from a combined $295 billion in cost overruns (It cost you too much to build it? That's okay, we'll pay you anyway).
(15) The refusal of many federal employees to fly coach costs taxpayers $146 million annually in flight upgrades. (If I try to upgrade my flight and charge the firm... fired).
(19) The federal government owns more than 50,000 vacant homes. (See #3)
(25) Congress recently gave Alaska Airlines $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737. (I should become a painter).
(29) The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were refundable. (I think they actually got the refunds and used the cash to keep Area 51 in order).
(34) Taxpayers are funding paintings of high-ranking government officials at a cost of up to $50,000 apiece. (And here is a beautiful painting of the Assistant Director of Transportation).
(42) Congress recently spent $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it does not need and will not use. (More Area 51 cash).
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:12 pm

AndyDufresne wrote:
thegreekdog wrote:
Frigidus wrote:"The Republican/Democratic Party" is too clunky a term for the glorified one party system we've currently got running things. We need something with more punch.


RDP? I'm not creative enough to come up with a good name. Saxi has one but I can't remember what it is and it seems clunky.


Repocratic Party? Sounds like they are involved in confiscation of goods...tax payer goods?!?!


--Andy


Outstanding Andy.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Woodruff on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:21 pm

thegreekdog wrote:and I own one of his books (I have not read it) on how technology makes us less happy.


I've not read his book (I don't believe I've ever heard of him), but I agree with him on this.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Woodruff on Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:24 pm

Symmetry wrote:I don't like Nazis, even when they make trains run on time. The anti-semitic stuff is kind of a turn off.


This sounds rather like Night Strike talking about how anything on NPR is fouled by the fact that they're a bunch of hippy, tree-hugging liberals.

Or me talking about how anything on Fox News is fouled by the fact that they're all sulfur-spewing demon-spawn. Which it is, of course.

Debate the source's information, not the source.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:25 am

Here is a good website about the Recovery Act and where the monies are going...

http://www.recovery.gov

I found some interesting questions and answers on the website as well. Keep in mind this is a government website.

"Over the past year, the Recovery Board has received its share of gratuitous criticism (TGD: is there any other kind?) from some journalists and internet grouches. As the brickabts and internet grouches. As the brickbats flew, we've listened patiently. Time now to bury the most publicized urban legends about the Board and the Recovery Program."

Myth: The Recovery Board wasted $18 million to redesign Recovery.gov.

Recovery.gov is not just a pretty face and not nearly that expensive. In July 2009, after careful vetting, the Recovery Board and the General Services Administration selected a Maryland company, Smartronix, Inc., to develop our state-of-the art website. The project included redesign and construction of the website; installation of hardware and software infrastructure; hosting and operation for the website; enhanced content management; and contract labor support. To date, we have paid Smartronix $6.8 million. If we exercise all options in the contract, the bill could total $18 million by January 2014.


Yes, because $6.8 million is very reasonable.

Myth: Why is the Recovery program spending $250,000 per job?

How about $150,000 per job? Or, let’s say $500,000? Never mind that however you cut it, these cost estimates don’t actually begin to tell the whole story. Essentially, critics are dividing the number of estimated jobs by the amount of money spent in a Recovery project. So, if a highway construction project cost $10 million and created 100 jobs, the cost per job must be $100,000, or so the critics say. In a struggling economy, this kind of analysis no doubt angers many Americans. But any second year economics major could tell you how absurd this analysis is. What about the benefits of that highway project to motorists? What about the indirect jobs, the subcontractors and the suppliers that benefit? Like most other things in life, simple analysis doesn’t get the job done (no pun intended).


I wonder if Player wrote this.

Another good opinion piece:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503983_162- ... 03983.html

Some choice quotes:

But when it came to presenting that data, Recovery.gov, the government's official site for stimulus information, highlighted one number in particular, posting it on the site's main page in large font: "JOBS CREATED/SAVED AS REPORTED BY FEDERAL CONTRACT RECIPIENTS: 30,383." To make extra certain of getting viewers' attention, the number itself appears in bright green.


Let's start with the 30,000 jobs themselves. The federal contracts in question represented $16 billion in stimulus spending. Assuming the number of created or saved jobs reported by each contract recipient was accurate—which, as we've reported before, is still an open question—that breaks down to $533,000 for each job. That's more than five times the projection of the president's own Council of Economic Advisers , which estimated in May that every $92,136 in government spending would create one job for one year.


So, if the $16 billion in federal stimulus contracts generated 30,383 direct jobs, how many indirect jobs were created or saved? We asked the White House, which told us they believe that for each direct job created or saved, there is one indirect job. Assuming that's right, that $16 billion created or saved some 60,000 jobs — which still clocks in at $267,000 per person.


I've spent some time looking for data showing how much money is made by the recipients' corporate officers, but so far no dice.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:46 am

Okay, I found some stuff on the award recipients from Recovery.gov

Largest Awards (Contracts)

- Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (South Carolina) - 3 contracts totaling $1,372,651,957

Its top 5 officers make a total of $1,957,95.
It has three parent companies: Fluor Corporation (one of the world's largest publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and project management companies), Newport News Nuclear Inc. (a subsidiary of Huntington Ingalls Industries providing nuclear operations and program management), and Honeywell International Inc. (a diversified technology and manufacturing company).
Fluor Corporation's six top executives made total compensation in 2009 of $22,437,065.
Honeywell International's six top executives made total compensation in 2009 of $36,713,286.

- CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (Washington) - 3 contracts totalling $1,188,495,168

Its top 5 officers make a total of $3,143,142

- Balfour Beatty/McCarthy A Joint Venture (Texas) - $539,032,415

It was not required to put the top 5 officers' compensations.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby comic boy on Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:03 am

In a perfect world such wasteful spending would be eradicated but inefficiency and coruption suggests this is unlikely, but does it matter ? Given that the wasted money tends to flow largely in the direction of big corporations, and by extention to already wealthy individuals, a status quo is achieved providing those that benefit most then provide balance by contributing back via increased taxation.
It seems to me that a problem only occurs if this balance is not achieved , ie that the beneficiaries do not contribute back , an interesting conundrum for those who argue against high taxation for wealthy corporations and individuals.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:11 am

comic boy wrote:In a perfect world such wasteful spending would be eradicated but inefficiency and coruption suggests this is unlikely, but does it matter ? Given that the wasted money tends to flow largely in the direction of big corporations, and by extention to already wealthy individuals, a status quo is achieved providing those that benefit most then provide balance by contributing back via increased taxation.
It seems to me that a problem only occurs if this balance is not achieved , ie that the beneficiaries do not contribute back , an interesting conundrum for those who argue against high taxation for wealthy corporations and individuals.


I've actually thought about that. That's a great theory, but will not work in practice for a few reasons, all of such reasons can be also attributed to why there is wasteful spending in the first place.

First, high wealth individuals generally have political capital invested in numerous politicians which allows them to indirectly control such politicians. Alternatively, such individuals can directly or indirectly support politicians through political action committees.

Second, large corporations generally have more politicla capital invested in numerous politicians, etc.

Third, raising tax rates will not solve any problems. Instead, companies will do the following: pay employees less, increase prices on products, or lobby the government (as per usual) to provide for more deductions, exemptions, and credits.

The root cause of these problems is the power that companies, unions, and high wealth individuals have over politicians. That root cause is also the problem of the crony capitalism and government waste we see in places like the Recovery Act. So if we eliminate the root cause (by curtailing lobbying and political contributions and crony capitalism generally), we will eliminate both the problems associated with raising tax revenue on the rich and the problems associated with government waste.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby comic boy on Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:05 pm

I certainly wouldn't disagree with your analysis , the level of lobbying and consequent payback in US politics is astounding. I really think that a good first step would be to cap election spending so that no candidate starts with a financial advantage , I honestly can't see any good argument against doing so.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:30 pm

comic boy wrote:I certainly wouldn't disagree with your analysis , the level of lobbying and consequent payback in US politics is astounding. I really think that a good first step would be to cap election spending so that no candidate starts with a financial advantage , I honestly can't see any good argument against doing so.


The question becomes how we will do that. From my perspective, there do not seem to be a whole lot of people who care enough to get to the root cause of the problem. Even the websites I quote from or link to see this as a Republican vs. Democrat issue and not as a citizen vs. Repocrat issue.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby AndyDufresne on Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:52 pm

I am going to agree with anything TGD says, since he is using the term Repocrat.


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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:02 pm

AndyDufresne wrote:I am going to agree with anything TGD says, since he is using the term Repocrat.


--Andy


Darth Vader wrote:All too easy.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby AndyDufresne on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:04 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
AndyDufresne wrote:I am going to agree with anything TGD says, since he is using the term Repocrat.


--Andy


Darth Vader wrote:All too easy.


I pray you don't alter the deal any further.




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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Woodruff on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:11 pm

comic boy wrote:I certainly wouldn't disagree with your analysis , the level of lobbying and consequent payback in US politics is astounding. I really think that a good first step would be to cap election spending so that no candidate starts with a financial advantage , I honestly can't see any good argument against doing so.


There ISN'T a good argument against doing so. Unfortunately, in order to make it happen, those recieving all the goodies in the current system are the ones that would have to vote for the change. Fat chance of that happening.
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Woodruff on Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:12 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
AndyDufresne wrote:I am going to agree with anything TGD says, since he is using the term Repocrat.

--Andy


Darth Vader wrote:All too easy.


I find your lack of faith...disturbing.

(Repocrat makes me think of a used car salesman, which is a highly appropriate insinuation.)
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Re: What is the Republican/Democratic Party?

Postby Woodruff on Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:22 pm

...I prefer a man who will burn the flag and then wrap himself in the Constitution to a man who will burn the Constitution and then wrap himself in the flag.
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